Top 5 Places to Spend New Year's Eve

Looking for a unique destination to celebrate New Year's Eve? Here are some of our favorite locations to ring in the New Year!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Copacabana Palace

New Year's is one of the biggest celebrations for Brazil tours, and one of the biggest beach parties in the world.  Most of the festivities take place in Copacabana and attract millions of people every year.  During the day many go to pay homage to the Afro-Brazilian goddess Iemanjá by placing offerings in the sea.  Music is played throughout the day, but the party kicks off around 7 p.m. when live acts and DJs begin on the official stages. There is live music and dancing on the beaches and a spectacular fireworks show to ring in the New Year.  One of the traditions is to wear white on New Year’s Eve, as it is considered a lucky color.  Expect to be sprayed with champagne around midnight!

Sydney, Australia

The Blacket Hotel Sydney, Australia

Hoping for a warm New Year’s Eve? Australia Tours in Sydney is the place to be.  The entertainment begins early in the afternoon and ends with the grand finale at midnight, an extravagant fireworks show set off from the arch of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.  The pre-show entertainment includes aerial displays and an indigenous smoking ceremony that will cleanse the harbor of negative spirits, as images projected on the Sydney Harbor Bridge begin the New Year countdown.   There are 9 p.m. family fireworks followed by the Harbor of Light Parade, where boats decorated with lights cruise around the Sydney Harbor.  With a finale that includes around 80,000 fireworks, this New Year's celebration is sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen.  Travel to Sydney this holiday season to be in the first major city to toast to the New Year!

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Scotsman Hotel Edinburgh, Scotland

New Year’s in Scotland is called Hogmanay, and the biggest celebration takes place in Edinburgh.  The celebration begins with a torchlight procession on the 29, where you can join tens of thousands of torch carriers in creating a river of fire.  On December 30 there is a Ceilidh, a traditional Gaelic social gathering, in Edinburgh where there is music, comedy, and other entertainment.  On New Year’s Eve everyone gathers together on the street and there are music stages with Scottish and contemporary music and dance.  Edinburgh’s Hogmanay Street Party on New Year’s Eve features live music and entertainment, DJs, outdoor bars, and an incredible fireworks display.  The Edinburgh castle serves as a great backdrop for this celebration.


Reykjavik, Iceland

101 Hotel Reykjavik, Iceland

Looking for a truly unique location to celebrate New Year’s Eve? Reykjavik offers renowned nightlife and beautiful scenery, making for a very memorable New Year’s celebration.  This holiday is characterized by large bonfires throughout the city and tons of fireworks.  Icelandic law allows the purchase of fireworks around New Year’s Eve.  As a result, almost everyone sets off fireworks around midnight, lighting up the Arctic sky. You may even be lucky enough to witness the Northern Lights!  The nightlife in Reykjavik is among the best in the world and offers endless possibilities of where to spend the early morning hours of the New Year.


Tokyo, Japan

Looking to prolong the New Years celebration? Celebrations on Japan tours can last up to a week, starting on December 29 and lasting until January 4. Though most of the city closes down during the week, the streets, as well as restaurants and clubs, are still packed with people.  New Year’s celebration in Tokyo includes fireworks, dancing, singing, and eating the traditional Toshikoshi Soba (New Year’s Eve noodle).  These long noodles symbolize a long and healthy life.  Another tradition is listening to Juya No Kane, the Watch-Night Bell, which rings 108 times at temples throughout Japan, symbolizing a prosperous and happy New Year.   The Tokyo Tower is one of the most popular places to celebrate the New Year.  An additional bonus of spending New Years in Tokyo is that on January 1st, the gates to the Imperial Palace open to the public; this only happens on one other day throughout the year.

Tags: Europe, Sustainable Travel, Asia & Pacific, Latin America